Finney County makes it easier to find a storm shelter

Mobile version of Finney County's storm shelter map

FINNEY COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – During severe weather season, it’s important to have a plan where you can go if a severe storm hits.

Now, Finney County is working to make it easier to do just that.

The county has 26 public storm shelters. This storm season, the county is working to make improvements for how to find one

“We changed it up this year,” said Trey Phillips with Finney County Geographic Information Services.

Officials revamped the online map of shelter locations.

“You can actually use your location to search around you,” said Phillips. “Put in your address or click on the map and you can see which ones are close to your location.”

It will determine which shelter is closest to you if you’re out when a storm hits.

“Make your necessary precautions,” said Gilbert Valerio with Finney County Emergency Management. “Now is the time to get ahead. Start preparing for yourself and for your family.”

Experts warn you always need to know where your best shelter is, whether at home, work, or school.

If you’re out around town, the map could direct you to the closest one.

“It does work across platforms as well, from tablets to phones,” said Phillips, “so if you’re out and about you can use your phone and see what’s around you there.”

If, for example, you’re away from home when the storm sirens go off, you can load the map on your phone and see where the nearest open shelter is.

The map is pretty easy to use and understand.

“We really try to make it user-friendly, not try to convolute it with a whole lot of bangs and whistles,” said Phillips.

Still, officials recommend not waiting for an emergency to try it out for the first time.

“It’s definitely to help plan ahead of time,” said Phillips, “and not to be used as far as, ‘There’s a tornado! Where do I go? Hopefully, they’re open at that time,’ but to make prior arrangements.”

You can find a link to the map here.

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